NEW YORK (CBSNewYork)First lady Chirlane McCray announced four new monuments in New York City that honor various women in our history.

Billie Holiday, Elizabeth Jennings Graham, Dr. Helen Rodriguez Trias and Katherine Walker will be honored with monuments.

She made the announcement Wednesday at the Brooklyn Museum

“We cannot tell the story of New York City without recognizing the invaluable contributions of the women who helped build and shape it,” said McCray. “Public monuments should tell the full history and inspire us to realize our potential – not question our worth. In honoring these four trailblazers today, New Yorkers will have the opportunity to see powerful women who made history receive the recognition they deserve.”

The decision of who shall be honored with a monument was made after an open call for nominees last year.

The Billie Holiday monument will be placed near Queens Borough Hall. The monument to Elizabeth Jennings Graham will be placed in the Vanderbilt Avenue Corridor near Grand Central Terminal. The Dr. Helen Rodriguez Trias monument will be placed in St. Mary’s Park in the Bronx. The monument for Katherine Walker will be placed at the Staten Island Ferry Landing on Staten Island.

Holiday is being honored for her contribution to music and challenge to racial barriers. Graham is being honored for challenging racial segregation on streetcars a century before the modern civil rights movement began. Dr. Rodriguez Trias is being honored for her contribution in pediatrics and public health. Walker was the keeper of the Robbins Reef Lighthouse for nearly three decades.

“It’s long past time we honor the great women who helped shape this city,” said Executive Director Faye Penn. “We are tremendously proud to be recognizing this diverse and dynamic set of women with monuments celebrating their accomplishments and thank the public for answering the call to help make us a fairer city for all women.”

The Department of Cultural Affairs has committed $10 million to construction of the monuments. Artists will be announced by the middle of 2020, and the monuments will be constructed by 2022.

For more information about the She Built NYC program, click here.


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